A sharp increase in the number of public sector workers looking for new jobs may be due to the pay freezes, a survey has suggested.
Five times as many candidates hunting for employment on public and not-for-profit sector recruitment site Jobsgopublic, said they were already employed and did not require a new job immediately, compared with 2013. The site’s job board is visited by more than half a million unique jobseekers each month.
Jobsgopublic says that this rise reflects growing disillusionment among public sector workers with ongoing pay freezes. A 1% rise in public sector pay was announced for 2014/2015, and the Institute for Fiscal Studies has estimated that public sector pay will fall by 8% relative to the private sector between 2012/13 and 2018/19.
“More and more public sector employees are reaching their breaking points over declining real-terms pay, and are on the hunt for new jobs,” said Miles Skelton, managing director of Jobsgopublic.
“They have no intention of leaving the public sector, but are finding that switching to a new employer may be the most direct way to get their pay progression back on track. While the 1% pay rise announced in March prompted some unions to talk about the potential for industrial action, it seems that a lot of workers in the public sector have decided that the best response to the continuing pay freeze is to start looking for new employment.”
The survey also found that 12% of those looking for public sector employment are currently private sector employees.
Skelton added: “While pay freezes are frustrating those who are already employed in the public sector, it seems that private sector workers are becoming more confident that job security within the sector is returning.”